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Public Meetings
The commission meets once a month from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Conference Room of the Verona Community Center, located at 880 Bloomfield Ave., Verona, NJ 07044. The public is welcome to attend. Upcoming 2016 Meeting Dates: June 15, July 20, September 21, October 19, November 16, and December 21. Join us in protecting Verona's environment for the health and well being of all!

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Green News
Peckman Cleanup - June 4th
9 a.m. to 12 noon - Verona Volunteers Needed!
Join us to help clean up Verona’s Peckman River & Woods. We will meet at the trail entrance behind F. N. Brown Elementary School, located at 125 Grove Ave. This event is part of the NJ Clean Communities Clean Water Challenge. We will be working on cleaning up the river, restoring the trails, and pulling out invasive plants. Volunteers should use caution when handling trash, and avoid hazardous materials like broken glass and aerosol cans. Long pants, work boots and rain boots or waders are recommended. Other items like gloves and bags will be supplied for you. Students and volunteers of all ages are welcome. Participants are required to sign a waiver available HERE and at the cleanup, parents sign waivers for minors under 18. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. To participate please contact us at VeronaEnvironmental@gmail.com

Tree Giveaway and Cleanup
In honor of Earth Day the Commission hosted a tree seedling giveaway and cleanup at Grove Park on April 30th. The tree giveaway was open to all NJ residents as 
part of the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign. Seedlings included Red Oaks, Flowering Dogwoods and Douglas Fir trees. The commission worked with the municipal government and the DEP to distribute 150 free trees with planting instructions. The VEC also organized a cleanup with volunteers to keep the park and nature preserve safe for people and wildlife. Thank you all!

www.geocaching.com
Attention geocaching fans: the Verona EC cache "The Grove" is now live, you can get the GPS coordinates HERE - This is a real-world, free outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of coordinates and then attempt to find the hidden cache (container) at that location. If you take something from the cache, leave something of equal or greater value. Write about your find in the cache logbook. The Geocaching Logo is a registered trademark of Groundspeak, Inc. Used with permission. Happy geocaching!

Opportunity to Join the VEC
The Verona Environmental Commission (VEC) has an opening for a volunteer Alternate member on the Commission.  All Verona residents interested in promoting environmental sustainability ("green practices") by the township government, residents and business are encouraged to apply. Interested parties shall have a commitment to the conservation, protection and improvement of Verona's natural resources. Individuals interested in serving on the Commission should submit a professional bio to the VEC Chairperson Gloria Machnowski at veronaenvironmental@gmail.com. The VEC runs local environmental programs and makes recommendations to the Township Manager and Council, Planning Board and Board of Adjustment on best practices in environmental sustainability and other issues related to environmental conservation.

New Cardboard and E-Waste Procedures
Recycling curbside collection in Verona now includes all paper products, Chipboard (cereal, cake mix boxes, etc) and Corrugated Cardboard (shipping boxes, etc). Newspapers, junk mail and magazines no longer have to be put out separately. ALL paper products and flattened clean cardboard boxes can now be placed at the curb together on the designated days. Electronic waste is no longer accepted at the Recycling Depot on Commerce Court. Computers, TV's and other electronic waste is now accepted at the Department of Public Works (5 Ozone Ave.) on the following days: January 15 and 16, April 15 and 16, July 15 and 16, and October 14 and 15, 2016. Since 2009, it has been illegal to put TVs, computers or other e-waste at the curb in Verona, electronics contain many toxic components that can pollute land and water. For a complete list of accepted materials please visit our Recycling page. In order to stay up-to-date on collection days you can download the free Remyndr app on your smart phone at www.VeronaNJ.org/PublicWorks

Grove Park - 42 Grove Avenue
The VEC, Junior Woman’s Club of Verona and Verona Historical Society joined forces to create a nature preserve and historic park on the site of a 19th century community 
gathering place. This was later the homestead of Dr. Henry B. Whitehorne, the namesake of Verona's middle school. The woods at 42 Grove are now home to many kinds of wildlife, including a family of foxes and wild turkeys. Vegetation includes a huge patch of skunk cabbage and jack-in-the-pulpits, native sycamore, black cherry, hickory, tulip poplar and red maple trees. The park's ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on November 21, 2015. You can watch the video here. The wooded lot was restored and a short, sustainable nature trail was created, park benches and signage with information about the history of the site were added.
Trees and plants will be added during the Spring of 2016. Open space provides many benefits to the community. In  rapidly growing urban areas, any preserved land can offer relief from congestion. In the early 1800s this lot was the site of Personett’s Grove, a favorite meeting place for picnics, religious meetings and Fourth of July celebrations. Later Dr. Whitehorne built his home on the site. Whitehorne's home was destroyed by fire in the 1960s. The Weathon family owned the property until 1966. The township bought the 1.33 acre lot in 1975. The property has a significant historical value. Grove Ave. got its name from Personett's Grove. We appreciate the town's commitment to this preservation effort.

Volunteers Clean The Peckman!
The Verona Environmental Commission organized a community cleanup of the Peckman river and woods on April 11, 2015. The environmental clubs from Verona High School and Montclair University helped make the event a success.

About 50 people donated their time to take care of the woods adjacent to the Peckman River,  helping to keep our waterways and trails safe and healthy for wildlife and for people. You can see several pictures of the event HEREThe group included a large number of students from Verona High School and Montclair University. The Peckman Trail entrance is located behind F. N. Brown School, at 125 Grove Ave. in Verona.

Poster Contest Winners!
We received over 200 entries from all Verona Public Schools for our 7th Annual Poster Contest. 

Pictured, the 2015 winners at the Award Ceremony in Verona Town Hall with the Town Council members -from left to right: Jack Latson from Laning Avenue School for 'It's Cool to Walk to School', Tigerlily Fischer from H. B. Whitehorne Middle School for 'Bike to School'; Nishini Fernando from Brookdale Avenue School for 'Green Up Verona'; Reese Falcone from Forest Avenue School for 'Be Kind to the Earth'; and Christopher Caldera from F. N. Brown School for 'Replant Because it's Fun'. VHS winner Annaliese Tietjen, author of 'Live Green', was participating in a Verona High School Soccer Team State game. Congratulations to all!

Volunteers Install Birdhouses
 The VEC purchased Bat, Screetch Owl and Bluebird houses with grant money and installed them along the Peckman trail with help from volunteers. The bat box was installed on a dead tree near the river, best locations include rivers and streams since they are natural flyways for bats. New Jersey supports 6 year round resident bat species, the 2 species that people come into contact most frequently are big brown bats and little brown bats. Bats eat many harmful garden pests and mosquitoes. Eastern Screetch Owls like their houses in deep afternoon shade and preys on mice, voles and large insects such as moths and beetles. The Eastern Bluebird house was installed facing the open field. They feed by dropping to the ground onto insects or, in fall and winter, by perching on fruiting trees to gulp down berries.

Bronze Certification
Verona Township has been awarded bronze level certification by Sustainable Jersey for 2015! Bronze certification means a municipality has made a commitment to sustainability and succeeded in implementing significant first steps, while silver certification means a municipality has made significant progress in a number of categories toward sustainability and is a state-wide and national leader. At Verona Environmental Commission encouragement, Verona Township joined Sustainable Jersey in 2014 and became the 400th municipality in the state to join the program. The VEC formally presented the program to the council members on November 2013 and provided information to residents at our table in the December 2013 Fair in the Square. A Green Team and Chairman Steve Neale was appointed in 2014 to lead the local sustainability efforts.
Our 2015 Annual Report is available here. The township encourages all residents to plant native trees, and reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost as much of their household waste as possible. The Verona Recycling Center, located at 10 Commerce Ct. is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.
The Zika Virus and Verona: Please read HERE the Commission's statement.
http://www.veronanj.org/node/466
Remyndr Download the free app on Google Play or iTunes -enter your address to receive notifications about your recycling and garbage curbside collection schedule.

Verona Green Fair - May 22
Verona's 2nd Annual Green Fair is on Sunday, May 22nd from 11 am to 4 pm in the Verona Civic Center Square, 600 Bloomfield Ave. The VEC will be distributing free recycling bins and barrels to Verona residents. The event is free and open to the public. Vendor Forms are available here.
Come explore the world of sustainability, eat, play and have some fun!
Free Entry, Family & Kid's Activities, A Climbing Wall, Vendors & Exhibitors, Live Music, Green Businesses, Book Sale, Food Drive, Rx Drug Drop-Off, Health & Nutrition Info, Solar Info, Town Wide Garage Sale, Gardening & Composting Demos, Clothing Drive, Volunteer Opportunities, Food Trucks & Much Much More!

2016 Curbside Pick-Up Schedules 
To know your curbside recycling  pick-up designated days, please click below on the north side or south side (of Bloomfield Avenue) schedules:
https://sites.google.com/site/veronaenvironmentalcommission/recycling/2016North.png?attredirects=0&attachauth=ANoY7cr7gV4JmdMTXLwVNDs0a4zTb9KFoTS2IDroWPSALMQdAitWdO-98Ey86rKAXzkLBfP_WRWFTNClSPMDthw14l5GQoP3FUbAV6GptSJUcDn-nj7SKizoP3aLZgnnwRdoKS51WcqLjOMYy14cOZ2xyXAiON0x1a4qf84AkrB3HMcioRuci0FqHCYCYwBjrLJJGZ_9XjE91sghm6e9P-0Xo2Ppw7a7j_CPamixP-AT7naHVheBvrePGBvqOaZoKU3k630Owxy1      
Southside Schedule  

VEC Videos:
Grove Park: Ribbon-cutting ceremony organized by the three sponsor groups, the Mayor and Council of Verona, November 21, 2015. Local historian Bob Williams gave an interesting talk on the park's history.

Poster Contest: 2 min. video of Verona students 2015 submissions to the VEC 'Sustainable Verona' poster contest.

Green Fair: 2 min. video of Verona's First Green Fair, May 30th, 2015 in the Civic Center. For a complete list of participants please visit Sustainable Verona

Alternative Fuel Education: We interviewed students that excel at converting cars to run on electric at the Verona Green Fair, May 30, 2015. The car was originally converted from gas to electric by Memorial High School students, in West New York, NJ. Their teacher, Ron Grosinger, showed the car at the fair with Mark Balzarette, an adjunct professor Bergen Community College and Kassem Alhussien, a former student from Memorial HS.

Kids Ride to the Peckman Trail: 3 minutes video made by Verona kids with helmet camera.

Go Idle Free Verona is a 2 minute video, entirely shot and edited by VEC members in Verona. The commission would like to especially thank the HBW Environmental Club and the kids from Verona for their participation and support. We invite you to watch it and learn how you can help to enhance Verona's air quality. An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour! NJ State Law prohibits idling more than three minutes for both diesel and gasoline non-emergency vehicles. Please Turn the Key -Be Idle Free!
Wastewater Treatment Facility: the commission produced this 8-minute video, please watch it to learn how you can help protect our waterways (click on the lower right corner icon for full screen).

Anti Idling Resolution
At the VEC encouragement, the Verona Town Council approved a Resolution adopting a strong Anti Idling policy in 2015. The resolution essentially reinforces existing NJ State Law which prohibits idling in your car or truck beyond 3 minutes while parked. It also encourages drivers to turn off their engines immediately, especially in schools, drive through windows, gas stations, parking lots, etc. Municipally-owned vehicles are also included in the anti-idling campaign. Emissions from gasoline and diesel powered vehicles contribute significantly to air pollution, including greenhouse gases, ozone formation, fine particulates, and a multitude of potentially harmful pollutants that can trigger various respiratory ailments such as asthma. Enforcing this resolution would significantly improve public health, air quality, reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions.